Debunking the Rose Conspiracy Theory

August 10, 2010

My wife prefers to drink whites during the summer months. I’m always a bigger fan of the reds. Finding something that we can both agree on has sometimes been a quest as difficult as locating Big Foot. We find ourselves searching for that rare and elusive compromise–something that has the best characteristics of each. But is there really such a thing? Really? I asked the local liquor store clerk, and he pulled out some old blurry photos of a bottle he saw somewhere near the rear of his store back in ‘87. Through a toothless grin he told me he believes more bottles are probably still back there if I just hiked back far enough.

            “Those photos are fake!” blurted one of the customers listening in.

            “They are not,” chirped another. “I heard a critic from Napa review that wine just last week.”

            “That critic was born in Kenya!” shouted the first.

            “I heard there was a second critic on the grassy knoll.” chimed in a third.

             I left them there arguing and continued my search. I wandered the store, hearing rumors of sightings. One guy with a southern accent and a badly stained flannel shirt said he was abducted and forced to take a ride in a delivery truck that carried this mysterious wine and that all remaining bottles had been tucked away in a top secret, military facility somewhere in the desert. Another guy said he saw Elvis buy the last bottle just a few days before. I didn’t know what to believe.  

 Turns out, there is such a beast and it’s not all that rare. Rose has gained enormous popularity lately partly because it shares the best qualities of both red and white wines. When you taste this week’s recommendation, the fruity crispness of a white wine is front and center, but at the same time rare peeks of complexity and bolder red-like flavors rise to the surface like a camera shy dinosaur that’s hiding in a Scottish loch.

 Crios de Susana Balbo, Rose’ of Malbec ($11.99): With Crios, you get the best of both worlds–Sort of like a cat that can also flush birds or a dog that can use the litter box. Rose is meant to be drunk young and is at its best slightly chilled. Twenty minutes in the fridge should do it.

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